May 2, 2012

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Northwestern, the top-ranked team in the nation in the IWLCA  Poll, has claimed both the Player of the Year and Coach of the Year honors as the American Lacrosse Conference named its end-of-season awards today. Junior Taylor Thornton was selected as the league’s player of the year by a vote of the conference coaches, and her mentor, Kelly Amonte Hiller, the head coach at Northwestern, was named by her peers as the ALC Coach of the Year. The coaches also named Florida’s Nora Barry as the ALC Rookie of the Year and Penn State’s Dana Cahill picked up her second consecutive Goalie of the  Year honor.

Thornton, a defender for the top-ranked and second-seeded Wildcats, has helped NU remain in the No. 1 ranking in the national polls throughout the season. The reigning National and ALC  Defensive Player of the Week, Thornton ranks fourth on Northwestern with 23 goals while ranking in the top-50 nationally in both draw controls and ground balls per game. She ranks fourth in the conference in caused turnovers per game and has helped the Wildcats rank second in the nation in scoring defense while facing the nation’s second-toughest schedule.

Barry helped the Gators earn the conference’s top seed in the championships in 2012, ranking fifth on the Florida team in points while leading the squad in ground balls and ranking second in draw controls. A four-time ALC Rookie of the Week and twice the National Rookie of the Week, Barry has helped Florida to become the national leader in scoring defense.

Cahill, the 2011 ALC  Goalie of the Year, again ranks among the national leaders in the cage. Fourth in the nation in save percentage at 50.5%, Cahill also ranks in the top-20 nationally in goals-against average, saves, and saves per game. She also leads the Nittany Lions in ground balls.

Amonte Hiller has led the Wildcats to a 16-1 season and the top spot in the poll all season long. NU ranks second in the nation in scoring defense and fifth in scoring margin while facing the nation’s second-toughest schedule. The Wildcats rank nationally in the top-25 in draw controls, ground balls, and caused turnovers per game.

ALC  All-Conference Honors
Player of the Year: Taylor Thornton, Northwestern
Goalie of the Year: Dana Cahill, Penn State
Rookie of the Year: Nora Barry, Florida
Coach of the Year: Kelly Amonte Hiller, Northwestern

ALC First Team
Dana Cahill, Penn State
Gabby Capuzzi, Ohio State
Ally Carey, Vanderbilt
Lizzy Carney, Penn State
Kitty Cullen, Florida
Taylor D’Amore, Johns Hopkins
Brittany Dashiell, Florida
Sam Farrell, Florida
Erin Fitzgerald, Northwestern
Alayna Markwordt, Ohio State
Shannon Smith, Northwestern
Taylor Thornton, Northwestern

ALC Second Team
Nora Barry, Florida
Paige Cahill, Vanderbilt
Tatum Coffey, Penn State
Kirsten Donahue, Ohio State
Alex Frank, Northwestern
Alyssa Kildare, Johns Hopkins
Colleen McCaffrey, Johns Hopkins
Maggie McCormick, Penn State
Mikey Meagher, Florida
Lacey Vigmostad, Northwestern
Gabi Weigand, Florida
Theresa Zichelli, Penn State